The “grunge scene” in the late 1980’s and early 90’s wasn’t a scene at all until the marketing and advertising folks got hold of it. It was just a bunch of folks making music, setting aside all the drugs-women-and-cars excess of the hair metal era and getting back to just making good songs because that’s what they wanted to do.
Among my favorite groups retroactively labeled as part of that “scene,” Pearl Jam were an amazing group of musicians born from the remnants of breakthrough Seattle group Mother Love Bone after the death of their lead singer Andrew Wood from a heroin overdose shortly after they signed their first major-label record deal. Their first album, Ten, dropped like an atom bomb, with all the fire and fury of the early garage punk bands fused with the melodic sensibilities and catchy riffs of the greatest work by the Who, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix.
As the band grew, they did more introspective and soft work, and this song appeared on their second album Vs. as the final cut, the perfect capstone on an outrageously diverse and well-crafted sophomore effort.
This is my version of the song (the omission of the first chorus is accidental). It was recorded using the following instruments and tools:
- Yeti Blue USB mic (vocals, acoustic guitar)
- Focusrite Solo audio interface (acoustic & electric guitar). (Overdrive on the electric is from the pre-amp in this.)
- Epiphone Les Paul VE electric guitar.
- Rainsong WD1000 Acoustic Guitar
- Mixed with Adobe Audition, including chorus and reverb effects on the acoustic.
Twenty-five years later, I still haven’t figured out what difference it makes, but it’s a great song. The video is just some road footage I filmed while driving across the country from Utah to NC and back to visit with my dad for what would be our last meeting prior to his passing in August 2015. The house you see in the graphic there, which you’ll also see me driving by and filming in the video, has a neat little backstory. This house is located in South Carthage, TN on Highway 70, and I lived here in the summer of 1988 with my sister and her family. Their landlord was Al Gore, Sr. That summer, Al Jr. dropped out of the race for the US presidency and hosted a small “welcome home” party at his home a few miles down the road, which I attended. It was a good time and Al was a gracious and affable host. I wish I’d stayed in touch. Enjoy.